Thursday, October 30, 2008

Economist: Expect more corporate moves to Dallas-Fort Worth as economy recovers

A top local economist is telling commercial property execs to expect an increase in corporate transfers to North Texas as the U.S. economy recovers.

“Now is the time to be selling Texas,” Bernard Weinstein, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas, told members of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties at a Wednesday breakfast. “More and more companies are going to be looking for a Sunbelt location.

“This is where you want to be when the economy turns.”

That probably won’t happen until mid 2010 or later, according to Dr. Weinstein. And along the way, Texas will suffer some downsizing.

“Sure, job growth has slowed here,” he said. ‘We may even get into negative territory some months.

“Yes, we are going to see a slowdown here, but it’s not going to be blood running in the streets as in some areas.”

After more than 30 years in the area, Dr. Weinstein has seen his share of bull and bear economies. And North Texas has continued to add population and jobs.

“Texas always benefits from a national recession,” he said. “We get a lot of economic refugees with good skill sets.

“Even if they can’t get a job right away, the prospects are better here.”

Dr. Weinstein said his calendar has been more full with the recent financial market crash and worsening U.S. economy.

“I get a lot of requests to speak when the economy is bad,” he said. ‘When the economy is good, no one wants to hear me.”